The difference between dry and dehydrated skin

To ensure that you are choosing the right product and its function for your skin type, it’s essential to know the difference between dry and dehydrated skin.


Hydration relates to water. To hydrate simply means to increase water content, whether this is your body, hair or skin. In relation to skin care, hydration means increasing the amount of water in your skin cells, which results in a healthy, smooth and plump appearance.

When your skin is regularly and properly hydrated, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles are highly reduced. In addition to appearing younger, your skin cells maintain their overall cellular functions when hydrated. Hydration is thus measured by water content in the skin.

How do we keep hydrated? In order to keep your body hydrated, you need to drink plenty of water. However, drinking plenty of water is not sufficient to keep your skin hydrated. By the time water has been passed through your body and has hydrated all your vital organs, very little water actually gets to hydrate your skin. It is, therefore, necessary for you to use topical ingredients that promote hydration, for example mists and  and water-based moisturisers, in order to hydrate your skin properly.

Hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera and  rose water will topical hydrate your skin, while humectants like vegetable glycerin or vegetable squalane will help to bind and retain moisture to your skin. Misting your face with our Papaya Rose Hydrating Facial Mist will hydrate your skin, as it contains organic aloe vera, rose water and vegetable glycerine.


Attached to our hair follicles we have our sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oily substance that helps to protect, lubricate and nourish our skin, preventing it from drying out and causing premature aging. People with oily skin tend to have clogged pores due to an overproduction of sebum, while people with dry skin, might have a lack of it.

Regardless of your skin type, moisturizing is an essential part of your daily facial routine. Follow up using our Papaya Rose Facial Mist with our Prickly Pear Rejuvenating Facial Oil will maximise on moisture retention, as it contains vegetable squalene to seal in moisture from the mist. The combination of the two products will keep your skin plump, fresh and properly hydrated.

The difference?

Since the purpose of hydrating is to bind water to our skin and moisturising is to prevent the water from leaving our skin, hydrating always comes before moisturising. This is why mists, and other water-based products like serums, are to be applied first. Once you get that layer of hydration on, you want to seal it all in with a lipid (facial oil). This combination creates a healthy balance.

Dry vs. Dehydrated skin

Dry skin characteristics Dehydrated skin characteristics
  • Feels rough
  • Appears dry
  • Can be flaky
  • Looks dull
  • Feels tight
  • Feels rough
  • Is sensitive
  • Shows fine lines
  • Shows accelerated signs of ageing, like sagging skin and deep wrinkles

Dehydrated skin lacks water and dry skin lacks oil. So your skin could be dehydrated, dry, or both. This is why it is important to choose the right products and know how and when to use them.

Dehydrated skin tends to look dull and feel tight, even when properly moisturised. With dry skin, lack of moisture (lipid content) can result in rough, dry or flaky skin. If this is your skin, make sure you’re using the right moisturising ingredients. We recommend penetrative oils and oils like argan oil and prickly pear oils, because they penetrate deep into the skin and allow the skin to breathe.

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